Isabel Randolph

Show Count: 13
Series Count: 1
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: December 4, 1889, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: January 11, 1973, Burbank, California, USA

Isabel Randolph (1889–1973) was an American character actress active in radio and film from the 1940s through the 1960s, and in television from the early 1950s to the mid-1960s.

Early life

Born in 1889 in Illinois, Isabel Randolph had an extensive acting career in regional theater all over the American Midwest, from the pre-WWI era right up through to the start of her radio career in the mid-1930s — for example, she was at the Princess Theater in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1918, and, in 1931, at the Loyola Community Theater in Chicago.

Radio career

Isabel Randolph gained nationwide popularity on the famous radio show Fibber McGee and Molly (on the air 1935-1959), where she began in various "snooty" roles January 13, 1936,eventually becoming the long-running series character, the pompous Mrs. Abigail Uppington, a snooty society matron whom Fibber addressed as "Uppy", and whose pretensions Fibber delighted in deflating. She stayed with the comedy series for many years, but was gone when the show premiered in the Fall of 1943.

She also starred as the wife in NBC's soap opera Dan Harding's Wife (on the air January 20, 1936 thru February 10, 1939), and was in the cast of another NBC soap opera One Man's Family (on the air 1932-59) during the 1940s.

Film career

Even while young, Isabel Randolph specialized in middle-aged "grand dame" roles on stage and radio, continuing in these roles when she entered films in 1940. She re-created her character of Mrs. Uppington in RKO's Look Who's Laughing in 1941 and Here We Go Again in 1942, both spin-offs of the Fibber McGee and Molly radio series. In 1943, she co-starred again as Mrs. Uppington, but with country–music pioneer Roy Acuff instead, in the Republic musical O, My Darling Clementine. She worked in more than a few 1940s films with Lucille Ball. She played many small roles in major pictures, and starred in major (though stereotypical) roles in B-pictures — though, in at least one Republic Western of the early 1950s (Thundering Caravans, one of the Sheriff Rocky Lane film series), she was cast against type as an evil criminal mastermind.

Selected Films

Isabel Randolph worked on over seventy films from 1939 to 1959. Among them were:

  • Scrambled Eggs (1939), a Walter Lantz cartoon (voice (unconfirmed)), playing various Mother Bird characters
  • The Women (1939) (uncredited) playing Woman in Cabinet
  • The Corsican Brothers (1941) (uncredited) playing Countess Isabelle's Mother
  • Mr. Dynamite (1941) (uncredited) playing Dowager
  • Take a Letter, Darling (1942) (uncredited) playing Mrs. French
  • My Favorite Blonde (1942) (uncredited) playing Frederick's Mother
  • Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour (1943) (uncredited) playing Mrs. Stacey
  • Shadow of a Doubt (1943) (uncredited) playing Mrs. Margaret Green
  • The Missing Corpse (1945)
  • Little Women (1949) (uncredited) playing Mrs. Gardiner
  • The Fuller Brush Girl (1950) (uncredited) playing bridge player Mrs. Annabel South
  • Ain't Misbehavin' (1955) (uncredited) playing Matron
  • Hot Shots (1956) playing Mrs. Taylor
  • It Started with a Kiss (1959) (uncredited) playing Mrs. Chalmers

Television career

In her television career from 1951 to 1966, Isabel appeared most often on comedies, with an occasional drama (such as Perry Mason). She was seen as private-school proprietress Mrs. Nestor during the final (1955–1956) season of Our Miss Brooks. She played the recurring character of neighbor Mrs. Boone in 1954's Meet Millie, one of the first of the sit-com hits for CBS. She was also a regular comedic actor in 1952 on The Abbott and Costello Show, and from 1957-62 on The Red Skelton Show. Her first role on television was a protagonist on the 1951 version of Dick Tracy. Randolph appeared in The Andy Griffith Show episodes "A Plaque for Mayberry" and "Rafe Hollister Sings". One of her last appearances on television was in 1966 in her recurring role as Clara Petrie, the mother of Rob (Dick Van Dyke) on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Personal life

Randolph was born December 4, 1889, in Chicago.

She died January 11, 1973, in Burbank, California, survived by two daughters.

Source: Wikipedia

Fibber McGee & MollyFibber McGee & Molly
Show Count: 1166
Broadcast History: 16 April 1935 to 2 June 1935, 8 July 1935 to 7 March 1938, 15 March 1938 to 30 June 1953, 5 October 1953 to 23 March 1956, and 1 June 1957 to 6 September 1959
Sponsor: Johnson's Wax, Pet Milk, Reynolds Aluminum
Cast: Marian Jordan, Jim Jordan, Arthur Q. Bryan, Cliff Arquette, Shirley Mitchell, Hugh Studebaker, Bill Thompson, Marlin Hurt, Isabel Randolph, Ransom Sherman, Gene Carrol, Bea Benaderet, Gale Gordon, Harold Peary
Director: Frank Pittman, Cecil Underwood, Max Hutto
Producer: Frank Pittman, Cecil Underwood, Max Hutto
Fibber McGee & Molly was first broadcast in 1935 and ran in a variety of formats until the final broadcast in 1956. Jim and Marian Jordan played Fibber and his wife Molly in this hilarious domestic comedy.
Broadcast: 7th September 1952
Added: Sep 01 2012